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Man, who became paralyzed after incident with distracted driver, shares holiday travel safety tips


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    MIAMI (WFOR) — It’s always a good reminder to not drive drunk or distracted. Statistics reveal the toll taken during the Fourth of July holiday in 2021.

According to reports, 493 individuals lost their lives in car crashes, with a troubling 41 percent of these fatal incidents involving alcohol-impaired driving.

Additionally, distracted driving emerged as a significant cause of car crash fatalities during the same year, claiming the lives of more than 3,500 people.

Motivational speaker, Fletcher Cleaves, became paralyzed from an incident involving a woman texting and driving.

“In 2009, I was on a football scholarship and unfortunately a lady was texting and driving and ran me and my roommate off the road. Unfortunately, I became paralyzed since that day,” revealed Cleaves.

Reflecting on the life-altering incident, Cleaves said, “It changed my life tremendously. It made me aware of the dangers of distracted driving. I chose to become an advocate and do my greater good for other people to bring awareness to this devastating thing that’s going on now.”

Cleaves also further highlighted the growing issue of distractions caused by modern smart devices, saying, “It’s getting more and more with tablets, iPhones, watches, and all these types of new smart devices that’s causing us to be more distracted.”

Taking responsibility for initiating change, Cleaves declared, “I looked in the mirror and I was like you have to do something about this. And I chose to be an advocate and motivational speaker.”

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